Cover of Jersey Girl
Last night Greg was working and I watched the movie “Jersey Girl“. I had recorded it a few days ago and was waiting for the right opportunity. Ben Affleck is really good in this movie. His seven-year-old daughter played by Raquel Castro is fantastic!! If you are looking for a great movie – this one might be it! It is a surprising father/daughter love story – with solid characters and a plot that will make you laugh and cry.
After I watched it – I was curious about some of the songs from the soundtrack and went to look them up on youtube. Music creates a mood and can bring you down as well as lift you up. As I was discovering lost little gems like “Wandering” by Ben Folds and “Let my love open the door” by Pete Townshend, I saw on the right side of my screen the HILARIOUS song that opened the movie “Music and Lyrics” – a movie I absolutely LOVE! I watched it and found myself laughing out loud!! It’s so silly that it is impossible to feel sad when watching it! Here is a spoof on the 80’s band “Wham” with costumes, hair and gestures. And all who listened to music of that era will know and understand. Hugh Grant is SO FUNNY and I believe this is his best performance in a movie. If you haven’t yet seen it – here is a fun music video which opens the movie.
Enjoy – and have a good laugh!
- Let My Love Open the Door (victoriacullen.typepad.com)
Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to go to the theater in our town and see “Les Miserables”. I was really looking forward to it – because years ago we saw the stage production at 5th Avenue in Seattle. I remember the music being breathtaking if not haunting in its beauty. The story itself is all about forgiveness and redemption – one of my favorite topics. My favorite part in both the live version and on the silver screen is the scene where the priest who takes in the fugitive, Jean Valjean (played brilliantly by Hugh Jackman) – forgives and helps when Jean is caught stealing his valuables. When the police bring him to the priest – the priest simply says, “my friend, you forgot the most valuable candlesticks here on the table” It is very moving. And when the young woman played by Anne Hathaway who through a series of very unfortunate and I can’t help but think, very avoidable circumstances finds herself on the street in dire poverty, cold and illness – sings “I dreamed a dream” – I lost it. Her performance will win many awards, I’m sure.
New phone (Photo credit: fd)
But after this point it became apparent to me that I would have to see this movie again some other time – in the privacy of my own home. You see we were sitting a few seats away from some teenage girls. The movie was long – they were bored and began giggling, laughing, checking their phones ( a real NO-NO in a movie theater) and when I could not take it any more the girl 2 seats to my right pulled out a noisy bag of CHIPS and began crunching them one by one – each time putting her hand in and out of the bag causing it to snap and crackle every few seconds. To say it was distracting and disrespectful would be an understatement. I could have made a stink about it – could have really caused a fuss and made it very awkward for the remainder of the movie – but I chose instead to practice patience and silence.
My silence comes in part to a terrible experience of “shaming” that someone gave me years ago when I was checking an email in an auditorium before a show actually started. I don’t remember the circumstances except that it was not during any performance but clearly in a place that should not have bothered anyone. But instead of being treated with grace and tolerance – I was severely reprimanded by a very unkind lady behind me. I can’t remember exactly what she said – but remember how it made me feel. I felt like a scolded 12-year-old girl. I remember hearing this saying from years before: “It is better to discipline yourself to do the right thing than have someone else discipline you” (or shame you) – and I set out to always be conscious of doing and saying the right things as to not offend. It is no fun to have someone tell you that cell phones aren’t allowed!!
So you can understand my hesitation in “shaming” the young ladies next to me. Now I know many of you reading this would have said or done something. And that’s okay. But most of the time it does not win a friend or go well for either party – and can cause serious division and hurt feelings. Silence, forgiveness and much grace is needed for some people in this life as demonstrated so eloquently by our leading man in the movie we were watching. And I will admit to you – I was angry. Movie tickets are not cheap – and we were really looking forward to this. And we expect common courtesy and find that it’s not very common at all. I had to fight my emotions most of the way through the long movie – and almost lost it a few times. It took everything I had within me not to at least SHUSH them with a BIG “SHHHHHHH”. But then I thought, “wouldn’t that be the same as what that lady long ago had done to me? How did that make me feel? Do I really want to be one of those? But don’t you and I have our RIGHTS? ” Yes. But that doesn’t make it right. Perhaps you are one that keeps order and makes sure that everyone is in “check” – but just make sure that as you feel compelled to do so – that you aren’t wounding someone with your words and actions. Is your comfort really more important than someone’s feelings? Is it worth it to burn that bridge? How awkward would you feel to come across that person in the lobby or restroom after the movie – especially if you had just LET THEM HAVE IT!! I thought about my silence when I went to the rest room afterwards. I actually did run into one of the young ladies. She looked at me shyly and smiled. And I remembered that as the movie ended one of the girls said rather loudly, “that made me cry”. I was angry at the time and wondered how she could have been still long enough to get the full impact of emotion – but you never know about some people. We are all different. We all process things at different rates. And just because she was chatty and noisy – doesn’t mean that she didn’t gain something beautiful from the film. And I hope she did. Perhaps she will learn to be more tolerant because I didn’t spoil the movie for her by “shaming” her into being quiet – and rising up to my standards.
It seems to be an epidemic at movie theaters – especially taking out cell phones and checking them during a movie. I don’t think I’ve gone to one movie in the last 5 years that I didn’t have to see someone do this at least once. A few years back we bought tickets to go see a Christmas concert of Michael W. Smith here in Seattle. Same issue. People just couldn’t leave their phones alone. And then there was a fussy little girl behind me that had to have snacks. Very NOISY snacks – especially during the quiet moments. Not fun. Finally Greg turned around and got the attention of the Mom who didn’t seem to be paying attention to the noise – or was just used to it – and it helped but did not entirely stop. It’s hard to believe.
I’m finding that I enjoy movies much more in my own home and from now on will REALLY have to love the movie in order to go to the theater. This is my “un” review – since it had way more to do with people watching the movie, rather than the actual movie!
Happy movie going – I hope all the people sitting around you LEAVE THEIR CELL PHONES AT HOME.
Image via Wikipedia
The movie “The Summer Of 42” came out in the early 70’s, starring Jennifer O’Neil. I saw it one time, many years ago – and don’t remember too much about it – but I do remember loving the musical score to the movie. I don’t remember paying attention to the lyrics – just parts of them here and there. And like many of us, when we can’t hear what the lyrics are – we make them up or find a different meaning in them.
In high school – an upper classmate of mine sang this song at an assembly for our school. I can’t remember what the occasion was for her to be singing this song – I just remember that she did. Because I didn’t know the lyrics – I thought she was singing about something really inappropriate, like people taking off their clothes! So funny to think about it now – the song is actually talking about the seasons of summer and fall. That will teach me to listen closely to what is really being said!
I love this version by Barbra Streisand – hope you will too 🙂
Do you have a favorite movie from that time period? How about an old song you were surprised to find the actual lyrics – instead of what you thought it was saying? I would love to hear them – I’m sure many of yours are the same as mine.
The summer smiles, the summer knows
And unashamed, she sheds her clothes
The summer smoothes the restless sky
And lovingly she warms the sand on which you lie
The summer knows, the summer’s wise
She sees the doubts within your eyes
And so she takes her summer time
Tells the moon to wait and the sun to linger
Twists the world ’round her summer finger
Lets you see the wonder of her arms
And if you’ve learned your lessons well
There’s little more for her to tell
One last caress, it’s time to dress for fall
And if you’ve learned your lesson well
There’s little more for her to tell
One last caress, it’s time to dress for fall
Cover of Chocolat (Miramax Collector's Series)
I love the movie “Chocolat” – if you have never seen it – I would encourage you to do so. It is charming as well as has a universal appeal. We just finished watching it again and LOVE the characters in this movie and wonderful story it tells. “Chocolat” started as a best-selling book by Joanne Harris – then became a stage play and then a movie. It is very visual and has extraordinary characters that are colorful and full of life.
For me – I would have to say that I love a story that has many different layers to it – touching something deep inside. The lead character, Vianne (played by the great Juliette Binoche) is a woman who goes from place to place and tries to make a difference – setting up a chocolate shop in the center of town. She is seen as a radical because she goes against normal small town traditions. She believes that life is a celebration and she embraces every moment to do so – from brightening up lives that are broken and lost – to throwing a birthday party for the elderly woman who is her landlord – but also her friend, played by the incredible Judy Dench. But even though she is infectious and kind – she is also seen as a threat and outsider. The mayor of the town tries to run her out – but in the end, Vianne and her daughter decide to stay. She befriends some people from the riverboats or ‘pirates’ as her daughter calls them – and the leader is brilliantly played by Johnny Depp. (Johnny also writes some of his own music which he plays on the guitar and it is used in the soundtrack). The young minister of the small French town is torn – but wants to do the right thing for everyone – I believe his quote at the end of the movie is the best one – and it is seen on my video clip below. Follow the link on the video that says “Watch this on youtube” and you will be able to see the video to get a taste of the movie.
It is amazing how one life can affect so many – and change a whole town. I want to be a life that is like that – don’t you?
Enjoy, and have some chocolate 🙂
- Chocolat (cuixiang.wordpress.com)
- Chocolatiers (wanderingfloridian.com)
Cover of Jaws (30th Anniversary Edition)
Last night Greg and I watched a 2 hour documentary about the making of the movie ‘Jaws’ – released in 1975. I remember going to see ‘Jaws’ that summer with some friends – in fact I’ll never forget it. It reinforced my very strong fear of the water and especially the ocean.
What looks easy to the observer, however, often is just the opposite. This movie was fraught with disasters, cast and crew problems and weather complications filming on the open sea. As I watched all of this – my appreciation for a great film increased as was my admiration for the film’s young director, Steven Spielberg who was just 27 years old at the time.
Spielberg, in a very candid interview about his memories of making this film said this, “Everyday I was worried I would get fired – I thought it would finish me as a director – but I keep pushing on anyway” And push on he did – way over budget and past the breaking point for cast and crew many times. He worked well under the stress – even Richard Dreyfess said, “All Steven did was bite his nails” Well you know the rest – ‘Jaws’ brought many records that year and was the first of what we would call ‘blockbuster’ films of that era. What could have been Spielberg’s worst disaster – turned out to be his greatest achievement and his shining moment. All because he did not give up and give in to the negative – worked with integrity and finished it. A true masterpiece.
How many times have I been through a ‘Jaws’ season? Too many. But I have also learned something. Even in my darkest times as a human being – my true self comes out in a way in which I cannot hide. It is my true nature – my default setting. And often times what feels like my most disastrous season – may also be my finest moment.
Every ‘saint’ of the Bible went through their own ‘Jaws’ period at one time or another. What separated them from other people – was that they were people of faith and they trusted God – kept their heart right – and didn’t compromise who they were even when hit with hard times. They kept believing – kept hoping and kept loving.
Have you ever had a ‘Jaws’ season? A time when trouble came to you – hung on and wouldn’t let go? An illness or family problem that you just couldn’t brush aside – but that went on and on – forever? A stress or heartbreak that threatens to swallow you? Hang on. Don’t lose hope. Help is on the way. And though you cannot see it – there is a reason. And someday you will have the answers to the questions. The real you is being formed and shaped. There is a purpose for the pain.
Here is a song by Amy Grant that has always helped me when I’m hit with a difficult season.
Image via Wikipedia
Whenever I see another good movie – I always take note of how the music plays an important role in that journey – as I’m watching it.
Music is what is said when words just don’t say enough. It becomes a vehicle touching something without words – that is indescribable.
When we saw ‘Secretariat‘ last week – I knew this movie would be great because of the wonderful musical score that was used. It did what it was supposed to do – bring emotion and help the audience feel something when mere words are just not enough. I sat there mesmerized – teary eyed and deeply moved. The story itself is amazing – but the music….inspirational.
Other movies that have done this are:
Meet Joe Black – Probably my favorite musical score – hauntingly beautiful.
Apollo 13 – Amazing – brings out the emotions especially at the end
From the Earth to the Moon (mini series) – backing up Kennedy’s speech is a thing of beauty – and both my husband and I get teary eyed when watching this – no matter how many times we’ve seen it!
Anne of Green Gables (mini series) The ‘Anne’ theme is a work of art
Titanic – Sounds just like you’d expect – with mystery, water sounds and ‘ghosts’ of the past
To Kill A Mockingbird – based on a simple child’s melody – and builds into an amazing journey that makes you believe you’re really living the adventure.
And the list goes on and on. Any great film – usually always has a great musical score – to compliment and bring out what the words cannot.
As a musician, I am well aware of the power of music. It sets the tone, enhances and most of all – music has a language that everyone can understand. This is why we all have our favorite songs – and our favorite moments in life. And they are usually surrounded by our favorite song. If we think back to those great moments that shaped us – good or bad – we can usually always think of that moment – and be transported in time – when we hear that song.
Below is one of two musical scores found on youtube from the movie, ‘Secretariat’. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Cover of The Story of Us
When our children were small – we used to play a game at the dinner table – found in a movie with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer called, “The Story of Us” – the game was called, ‘High-Low’.
The object of this game is to encourage conversation – even in the youngest member sitting at the table. Someone starts and could say, “Today my ‘high’ was getting a pedicure – and my ‘low’ was losing my keys” – It could be as simple as that – or you could expand on your points – as your personality and mood strikes you that day. We found that it caused everyone in our home to evaluate their day – reflect on only the best and the worst moment and then to share – it helped with the endless, ‘How was your day, dear?’ to their one word answer – ‘fine’.
After a few years – our daughter (4 years older than her brother) caught on to the ‘purpose’ of the ‘game’ – trying to provoke conversation from our pre-adolescent child – and she shut down and began to poke fun at the ‘game’ – and then of course – our son followed suit. *Sigh* – it was great while it lasted.
“The Story of Us’ – is a journey of one couple in love – but troubled. They have a typical story – meet when they are young – fall in love and get married – have a couple of children – settle into a routine – and find that slowly they have drifted apart. Their story is heart-warming, poignant and full of pain. It is the journey back to self discovery – and back to what’s important – each other. The ending will make you cry – as they discover at the end of the day – and the end of the relationship – they still love each other. Michelle’s speech at the end should have won her an academy award. Below is a music video with some of the pictures and scenes from the movie – and I encourage you to watch this if you’ve ever gone through trauma in your own marriage – and have ever contemplated ‘throwing in the towel’ and giving up.
I pray that you too will find that at the end of your day – and your journey – that you will remember what was really important – be able to throw out the yucky bad stuff and concentrate on the most important – love. And have your own ‘story’ to tell.